World Trade Week Chair's Message
2020 World Trade Week Chair
Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Compliance
Wherever trade goes, it creates wealth and prosperity — benefiting businesses, hospitals, schools, social services and every other facet of society. Therefore, to serve as chair of the 94th World Trade Week (WTW) Southern California is one of the greatest honors of my career. The unique and extensive role of the WTW and L.A. Area Chamber in promoting trade has, for more than 94 years, helped to drive its success.
One of my dear colleagues, Wayne Wagner, who had been involved with WTW for many years, was preparing to be chairman this year, a very proud moment for him and FedEx Logistics, which he was a part of for over 30 years. When Wayne unexpectedly passed away in July of 2019, we knew WTW was important enough to continue our support and to honor his contributions. While I will never be able to replace Wayne in this role, I will do my best to represent the enthusiasm and dedication he had for World Trade Week, and I do so in Wayne’s memory.
FedEx is a committed advocate for global trade, where we see its value every day. We believe that trade is the lifeblood of the global economy, and everyone benefits when it is easier to bring new products and ideas to the market. With more than 450,000 global team members moving 15 million shipments daily, it is no exaggeration to say that every FedEx job is a trade job.
By expanding potential markets, global trade encourages governments to legislate for more open economies with higher standards to compete globally. In doing so, it fuels innovation. A fitting example is e-commerce. Powered by the internet and logistics services, this growing industry is changing the way we purchase and shop. We want reasonably priced products delivered to our doors quickly at little or no added cost. Service providers are seeing new opportunities, too. Whether a traditional bank or a modern and dynamic content provider, businesses that succeed online can tap into vast new markets.
It is important to recognize that expanding global trade does not mean hurting businesses at home. Everyone can win in commerce. An excellent example is the U.S. Open Skies policy, which — through bilateral agreements — gives aviation companies access to foreign countries and promotes fair competition. Policies like this have allowed FedEx to grow from humble beginnings in 1973 into an industry leader today. And we are not alone in that success story. There are many companies in the Los Angeles area that not only depend on trade to survive but are also thriving in today’s economy because of it.
As a gateway for trade and investment, there are few venues more fitting than the Los Angeles region to be home to the important work of WTW. When I worked for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, we would pilot projects in Los Angeles and Long Beach. We knew if we could successfully implement an initiative in such a busy center of commerce, we would be able to do it anywhere. The area has always supported and encouraged innovation. This year’s event will further cement Southern California’s position as a pioneer and world leader. I hope you all have successful and rewarding participation during this month of celebrating global trade.